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Bombayís Eloquent High

Though Bombay High and the new Lebanese offering, Maroush, at the ITC Hotel Grand Maratha Sheraton & Towers, Mumbai, are based on the same theme of cuisine and entertainment, they could not be further apart, discerns Alan DíMello

The place is as hard to define as the city it is named after, cause the ‘Bombay High’ is a character actor, changing personalities thrice in a 16 hour day. Term it a bar at noon and you’d be wrong, term it a lounge at sunset and you’d be wrong again and if you dare term it a disco at night, you’d be way off the mark. Honestly, the place is multifaceted, effortlessly blending the preceding three definitions into each other as the day goes by.

Situated at the ITC Hotel Grand Maratha Sheraton & Towers, Mumbai, the name is a throwback to the early days of the city, when the south side, because of its high rises then, was referred to as ‘Bombay High’. An excellent thought, indeed. Open from 1100 hours until 0030 hours, ‘Bombay High’ sits nicely just off the ‘Peshwa Pavilion’ coffee shop in one single large room, with no pillars or walls to obstruct your view. The only wall that is used as a wall actually is the bar, containing nearly the entire length of the 40 foot counter. Here, there is no missing sight of the bar from any angle. Needless to say, the bar is well stocked, with over 200 brands and varieties. The wine list is impressive in content though small in size. Cigars such as the Cuban Cohiba and the Dominican Davidoff complete the classy offering. Service is the difference, perhaps a reason why ‘Bombay High’ seats only 49 people and the staff converse with you, not just take orders. Lighting and music are two very important facilitators at the ‘Bombay High’ and they go hand-in-hand, so much so, that often it is actually an event in itself.

Enchanting Lebanese Rhythm
Just opposite Bombay High is the hotel’s new Lebanese offering, ‘Maroush’. Though the two places are based on the same theme of food and entertainment, they could not be further apart. You have the option to either turn right for the ‘new’ music of Bombay High, or turn left for the traditional folklore beats of Maroush.

Maroush can be enjoyed on two levels: food and music (depending at which time you are at the restaurant). The cuisine at Maroush, as our in-house expert on Lebanese food says, is top notch, the real McCoy. For Rs 600 plus taxes, you are offered a choice of eight starters that encompass the best of the land. Of course, the Falafel and Hummus in true Lebanese style is on-the-house and limitless. This offering of eight starters, mezzas as they are called, does not do justice to the word ‘starters’, for it is an ample fill for two. The ‘must try’ Lebanese genius, ‘Shawarma’, is not included in the starters, that is if you have any place afterwards.

The dining fare will go to waste if you do not experience the ‘entertainment’. Every evening, twice a day, at 2200 hours and 2330 hours, the musical extravaganza is a gorgeous belly dancer swaying to the rhythm of three musicians. As the performance progresses, the quartet increases the tempo to near fever pitch, by which time you unconsciously find yourself dancing along. So make sure you complete all your business discussions before the performance.

The two together are a lethal combination and a welcome change to an evening out.

For reservations contact: (022) 8303030